Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Flyers Geography / In Defense of Randy Jones

Back in November, the Flyers were named by the Finnish Embassador to the United States as "the most Finnish team in the National Hockey League", due to the league high presence of four Finnish Players (Antero Niittymaki, Kimmo Timonen, Lasse Kukkonen, and Ossi Vaananen), as well as Finnish-American team President Peter Luukko. Add some past Flyers like Illkka Sinisalo and Sami Kapanen, and you've got yourself quite the Little Helsinki on Broad Street.
The Finns knew the Flyers were especially deserving of this award, as they did not allow any player who is not Finnish, Canadian, or American player into their lineup. The Flyers expressed their gratitude for this honor by putting Vaananen and Kukkonen on waivers.
The Flyers currently only have players from three countries, sharing the title of least international team with the Calgary Flames, who incidentally also only have Canadians, Americans, and Finns. Not a Swede, Czech, Slovak, or Russian to be found for miles.

This isn't to say that the Flyers don't have some demographic uniqueness. Randy Jones is from Quispamsis, New Brunswick. And despite the fact that there are 736,000 Canadians from New Brunswick, Randy Jones is the only New Brunswicker to currently be in the NHL. Out of the 476 Canadians currently in the NHL, Randy is the only one from a population that, proportionally, should have ten. Even Prince Edward Island, with a population of only 140,000, has more NHLers than New Brunswick (2).

I'm definitely not a Randy Jones hater. He got the highest vote total in the dump the chump poll, sure, but he's a pretty solid, physical defenseman who led the team in +/- last year, and is fifth in the team this year at +12, behind only Richards, Gagne, Carter, and Timonen, even though Randy has played only 32 games this season. None too shabby.

He's clearly overcome some major obstacles making it out of the hockey black hole that is New Brunswick. Props, Mr. Jones, Props.

(I wrote all this not counting Andreas Nodl, because we all know he doesn't matter).


Anonymous said...

Jones is the absolute worst D-man on this team. He's a 6th defenseman by default and well overpaid

Salmon said...

Jones may be sixth (though I'd put him third), but that speaks to our depth more than anything he'd easily be top 4 on any other team.

Overpaid, maybe, but nowhere near as much as some other Flyers I might name...